Bosh Won’t Sign Extension…Bring On The Rumours! (And Angry Locals)

From Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star:

“Chris Bosh, the Toronto Raptors all-star, suggested strongly today that he will forgo signing a contract extension this summer, setting himself up to be among a historically stacked NBA free agent class next year.

“(When) I signed a three-year (extension in 2006)… I had a goal in mind, and that was to put myself in the best position (in 2010) … I’m thinking I just want to stick to my goal, stick to what I was doing,” said Bosh.

“That’s a part of the plan … I just want to address things (after) next season. There’s a reason why I did things the way I did them back then.”

Hardly surprising information, although it’s the first time Bosh has publicly stated he’ll wait until 2010. There is no doubt that speculation will run wild, starting today, and running until either Bosh is traded, or until next summer. TSM believes Toronto will deal Bosh, while I’m less certain. I agree that it makes sense for Bryan Colangelo to consider dealing his best player, but it’s hardly enticing for free agents, to see a team deal their franchise guy.

Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer are certainly two names that will get tossed around, although I don’t love Deng’s salary, while I wouldn’t give Boozer the max deal he will ask for. If Toronto can land, say, Golden State’s Anthony Randolph, then I’m slightly more excited, but it’s still not ideal.

This brings me to another point I’d like to make – What’s up with the Toronto fanbase? I’ve rarely seen a group of supposed fans turn on their best player as quickly as the locals do here, and it makes me wonder why any stars would want to stick around. On Raptors Republic, for example, over 50% of poll respondents say Toronto should deal Bosh now. Ok…if you’re Chris Bosh, do you really want to sign an extension? These same fans hold a grudge against Mats Sundin for finally signing elsewhere (after years of dealing with crappy management), and it’s hardly surprising to see how fast the locals have turned on Bosh. Look, if you want your best player to stay, support him. Many people don’t understand this quote:

“Bosh, slated to earn about $15.7 million (U.S.) next season, said leaving his contract status hanging will be a “win-win situation” for both him and his struggling team, which won just 33 games this past season.

“It puts pressure on both sides. It puts pressure on me to perform, and it puts pressure on the organization to perform as well,” said Bosh, who was speaking after he performed his paid duties as the celebrity drawmaster for Saturday’s Woodbine Oaks horse race.”

To me, though, it makes sense. The Raptors will fall farther into mediocrity (or worse) without Bosh, and he’s simply hoping management will improve the team around him. People need to think about this a little more carefully, and realize why a player wouldn’t sign with a franchise going nowhere, with no reason to expect an improvement. Maybe this is the wakeup call Colangelo needs.

In no way am I saying that everything is ok, or that trading Chris Bosh would be a disaster. But if the Raptors can only get back 60 cents on the dollar, it will set the team back. In any case, prepare for rumours, rumours, and more rumours over the next long while, because while the locals may not value their best player, other teams, other fanbases, and other executives surely will.


Feschuk is here.

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